2016 review

What a year! 2016 has to have been one of the busiest years in Zengobi's history! Let's begin our 2016 review and a brief 2017 preview... illustrated with a few helpful emoji! 😀


Curio 10

Throughout the year there were several Curio 10 updates including a whopper Sierra fix in September (which was even regressed back to Curio 9) due to a change Apple made in Sierra's text framework which broke text editing on idea spaces (thanks, Apple). 🙄

Curio 10 is a huge success and I'm glad everyone has been enjoying all of its new functionality! I love getting emails from customers describing how Curio is key to their ability to truly get things done. Yay productivity! 🚀


On August 1st, we had an out-of-the-blue surprise with Kagi's sudden shutdown. 😱 For those that don't know, Kagi has been Zengobi's primary payment handler since day 1. They've been a wonderful company to work with but, unfortunately, the terms of their closing necessitated a sudden midnight shutdown with no prior warning.

Sadly this occurred while I was on the first day of a 5-day family trip in the remote mountains. So much for a relaxing vacation.😭 Fortunately I was able to work out a fast solution with the awesome folks at Paddle so that the day I returned I was able to get an impromptu store in place to resume sales. 😘

Looking at the bright side, this was a perfect, if unexpected, time for me to massively upgrade our sales processes and back-end infrastructure. 🛠


Backtracking a bit, in 2014 I moved Zengobi from a super old WebIntellects-hosted server to an incredibly fast, self-managed Linode server. This has been a wonderful experience. I can't say enough good things about Linode. 💯

A couple of months later I ditched the old phpbb forums software for the slick, new Discourse-based forums. We love Discourse! 👏

Over the months that followed more security and firewall tightening was added to the Linode server to make it more robust.

Most recently, just a few months ago, I upgraded our Linode server from 14.04 LTS to 16.04.1 LTS and enabled automatic system updating so we're always up-to-date with emergency patches. 💪

I also got Let's Encrypt installed and working on the machine so we could switch over to secure https for general site browsing and downloads, including Curio updates. 🔒

Next, I need to get our Discourse forums onto https as well. Sadly our Blogger-hosted blog can't be switched over to https, yet.


Now that we're on Paddle's payment system I was able to make a number of major, long-needed improvements. 

Previously order processing was handled with local AppleScripts and a decade-old FileMaker database. It worked but was not robust to say the least. 😳

Now everything is hosted on the server. No more FileMaker as everything is in super-speedy MySQL. New php scripts have been created to handle everything from lost license keys, to upgrade handling, to order processing via tight integration with Paddle's order processing API's. 🙌


Let me touch briefly on 2017 since a number of related events have occurred in the past few weeks.

Curio 11

Well, obviously this is the biggest news of 2017. Thirteen years after Curio 1.0's public release we have now released Curio 11. I'm so proud of Curio, in general, and of Curio 11, specifically, with all its new features and functionality. There's a related blog post here with all the details. 🎉


With Curio 11's release we also rolled out a brand new website design. Much cleaner, with a greater emphasis on what Curio's all about instead of bombarding visitors with an overwhelming number of screenshots and slideshows. 😇

(Instead of screenshots, we guide the user within Curio itself with our fantastic new Welcome to Curio project -- a massively improved version of our old Getting Started project with integrated user documentation and sample gallery. Very slick!🌣😎)

Next Steps

Next, I'd like to create a gallery of short video tutorials perhaps even opening it up to user submissions if anyone out there would like to contribute videos showing off how they use Curio. 🎬

I'm also contemplating other user-contributed content such as styles, stencils, and templates. Still mulling this over.

Plus there are number of additions to Curio 11 coming in the next few months. Lots of awesome new functionality I can't wait to add. I'm super excited about 2017! 😃

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